All of our dreams for the future – whether it be a relationship, marriage, career, or other pursuits – are safest when they are placed at the nail-scarred feet of Jesus. Instead of trying to “solve the problem” of singleness, experience the freedom found in surrendering that which is dearest. This week, Leslie highlights the threads of surrender that run through Scripture, reminding us that even good and perfect gifts must be entrusted to Jesus.
Psalm 37:4 provides us with a beautiful promise that when we delight ourselves in Christ first, He will be faithful to place the desires He wishes to fulfill in our hearts. And yet, it can be all too easy for our happiness and expectations to settle upon the hope of a romantic relationship, rather than in Jesus Christ. But entrusting our hopes and dreams to Jesus is always a safe decision. His character and nature reassure us that He will never take advantage of us, make us miserable, or do the opposite of what we’ve always wanted – that is simply not who He is! Remember, God asks for our hopes and dreams not to make us miserable, but to bless us.
Surrender is not something that happens once in a lifetime, but is a daily act of worship unto Jesus Christ. The Gospels remind us that we must take up our cross daily in order to be considered true followers of Jesus Christ. A touching example of this is the story of Abraham’s willingness to lay his only son, Isaac, upon the altar and offer him up to God. Isaac was a miraculous blessing and his birth was accompanied with a grand promise from God Himself. How could Abraham sacrifice that which he loved and waited for? Simply put, Abraham had his priorities straight. Yes, Isaac was important and beloved, but God was even more so, and absolutely able to be trusted. (Read Genesis 22 for the whole story!)
The same principle applies to our romantic dreams and life pursuits. We, too, must awaken to the fact that even the good and perfect gifts God gives to us (i.e. a love story, marriage, family, a certain career path, etc.) need to be continually surrendered back to Him. Are your dreams held with an open hand for God to mold and shape as He wills? Or are you controlling the gifts that He has blessed you with a tight-fisted grip? God must have first place in our hearts. Letting go of our grasp on our hopes and expectations and laying those precious parts of our hearts at the feet of Christ is the safest place for them and is an expression of our love, devotion, and worship unto Jesus.
Keys to Cultivating a Surrendered Heart:
Love Christ above all. Ask yourself: Is anything on the pedestal of my heart other than Christ?
Check for idolatry in your life. Ask yourself: If this relationship / dream were suddenly stripped away, would Jesus be enough?
- Psalm 37:4
- Matthew 6:24
- Matthew 16:24
- To take this message deeper into your own life, read Leslie’s article A Surrendered Heart.
- For ongoing encouragement, purchase a copy of Set Apart Girl Magazine! Learn more about our magazine here.